MANILA -- The National Printing Office (NPO) has started the initial run of the official ballots to be used for the first-ever automated elections this May, Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal confirmed Monday.

The poll body official said that the NPO had to print ballots for the residents of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (Armm) first because of the Arabic translation to be included in the ballots.

“There was a proposal on early voting earlier and Armm was one of the areas proposed to have early so we synchronized it as a matter of precaution," added Larrazabal.

The one day delay in printing was also because of the adjustments that had to be made by the NPO based on the official size of the ballots.

Larrazbal said the printers and cutters used had to be calibrated since the election ballots will be 25-inch long compared to their previous target of 29 inches.

“Yesterday, they started the initial run of the ballots...There were some adjustments that had to be made like the calibration because the ballots were made shorter. Today, okay na,” said the commissioner. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)